Video Game Cat Review
Date of Review: April 23, 2013
Format Reviewed: PS3
Language / Country of Origin: English / United Kingdom
Online Capability: There is downloadable content (DLC) for this title. There are also online cooperative and competitive multiplayer options available (with up to four players). Players can additionally interact online to design and share content and game together. User-created levels are published online, where other gamers can access them to play and rate them, based on content.
Sequel: LittleBigPlanet PSP, LittleBigPlanet 2, LittleBigPlanet PS Vita, LittleBigPlanet Karting
Equipment Needed: None needed.
Maintenance Required: None required.
In LittleBigPlanet, players control a customizable avatar, which resembles a humanoid burlap sack that is referred to as either Sackboy (if you choose a male) or Sackgirl (if you choose a female).
The game is comprised of three modes or planets: “LittleBigPlanet”, “My Moon”, and “Info Moon”.
The LittleBigPlanet is where the story-driven action occurs. It consists of 50+ pre-designed levels. Here, players maneuver Sackboy and Sackgirl through a world that was manufactured by Creator Curators (a hodgepodge group of characters who designed and built various creations). Sackboy/Sackgirl have a mission to help resolve a problem of a Creator Curator gone bad – “The Collector” has begun kidnapping characters and stealing their creations. To complete this mission, players are led through various scenarios to rescue characters, retrieve objects and defeat evil. Any objects obtained in this mode (such as stickers, music tracks, etc.) can be used elsewhere in the game. Within the LittleBigPlanet mode, players can also access levels that other game players have created as well as the PlayStation Store, where they can purchase downloadable content.
My Moon is where players can create their own LittleBigPlanet themed masterpieces. Within this mode, players can modify pre-existing levels (by placing stickers or decorations within them) or design their own objects or levels from scratch. These user creations can then be shared and played online with others.
The Info Moon mode is where players build and maintain friends and favorites lists and see game statistics.
Cultural / Historical Value:
LittleBigPlanet is one of PlayStation 3’s flagship titles. The game was welcomed to almost universal praise from gamers and game critics alike and sold millions of copies. It was nominated for and won numerous awards. Most people celebrated the game’s fresh (and yet, still cutesy) graphics and soundtrack and applauded the innovative addition of user-generated content. People also praised the game’s sound, including the narration as performed by celebrated British actor, Stephen Fry. Some people have complained about difficult gameplay, specifically with how hard it is to move between the foreground and background on the screen (a motion which is necessary to solve particular puzzles).
The game has incorporated other PlayStation franchises, by allowing players to change their avatars into costumes that represent characters from Assassin’s Creed, Final Fantasy, God of War, Heavenly Sword, Metal Gear Solid, Resistance, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Street Fighter, among others.
Before its release, in October 2008, the game did face some controversy when a gamer pointed out that part of the Qur’an was cited in the lyrics of one of LittleBigPlanet’s in-game songs. PlayStation decided to patch the game to remove the lyrics.
Teaching / Learning Characteristics:
LittleBigPlanet’s focus on user-generated content rewards players creativity, allowing them to birth their own creations. Therefore, the game could be useful in breeding and inspiring creativity. It can also be instructive in teaching players about game design – particularly when using the level creator.
LittleBigPlanet has high replay value. Motivated players will return to the title time and time again, due to the ability to customize and create content. Additionally, there is un-lockable content, which will spur players on. For example, new levels, modes, and objects become available to players after they complete a certain number of levels or tutorials. Finally, during the course of gameplay, players will collect various items that can be used to accessorize their character (e.g. clothing), unlock mini-games (e.g. keys) to use in other modes (e.g. stickers).
This game is suitable for just about any audience. Those who enjoy games that allow players to express their creativity and customize their environments will likely be impressed by LittleBigPlanet. However, anyone willing to play a game with a compelling story and an imaginative presentation should give this game a try.
About the Author:
Shannon L. Farrell, MLIS, MS is a Liaison Librarian at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities. Having been an avid gamer for the last 25 years, she has a great interest in incorporating videogames into library and educational environments. She has conducted research on the topic, examining current use of videogames in libraries and the resources available for collection development purposes. Shannon is a member of the ALA Games and Gaming Round Table. Since she plays videogames on a daily basis, Shannon will be a regular contributor and editor of reviews for VideoGameCat. She also maintains the VideoGameCat Twitter (@thevideogamecat) and Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/thevideogamecat) accounts.
|Spike Video Game Awards 2008||Best Graphics||Nominee|
|Spike Video Game Awards 2008||Best Male Voice
(Stephen Fry as The Narrator)
|Spike Video Game Awards 2008||Best Original Score||Nominee|
|Golden Joystick Awards 2008||One to Watch Award||Nominee|
|Spike Video Game Awards 2008||Best PS3 Game||Winner|
|Spike Video Game Awards 2008||Best Soundtrack||Nominee|
|Spike Video Game Awards 2008||Game of the Year||Nominee|
|Spike Video Game Awards 2008||Studio of the Year
|GAME British Academy Video Game Awards 2009||Artistic Achievement||Winner|
|Game Developers Choice Awards 2009||Audio||Nominee|
|GAME British Academy Video Game Awards 2009||Casual||Nominee|
|Interactive Achievement Awards 2009||Console Game of the Year||Winner|
|Golden Joystick Awards 2009||Family Game of the Year||Winner|
|Interactive Achievement Awards 2009||Family Game of the Year||Winner|
|GAME British Academy Video Game Awards 2009||GAME Award of 2008||Nominee|
|Game Developers Choice Awards 2009||Game Design||Winner|
|Game Developers Choice Awards 2009||Game of the Year||Nominee|
|Game Developers Choice Awards 2009||Innovation Award||Winner|
|Golden Joystick Awards 2009||Multiplayer Game of the Year||Nominee|
|GAME British Academy Video Game Awards 2009||Original Score||Nominee|
|Interactive Achievement Awards 2009||Outstanding Achievement in Art Direction||Winner|
|Interactive Achievement Awards 2009||Outstanding Achievement in Character Performance||Winner|
|Interactive Achievement Awards 2009||Outstanding Achievement in Game Direction||Winner|
|Interactive Achievement Awards 2009||Outstanding Achievement in Sound Design||Nominee|
|Interactive Achievement Awards 2009||Outstanding Achievement in Soundtrack||Nominee|
|Interactive Achievement Awards 2009||Outstanding Achievement in Visual Engineering||Winner|
|Interactive Achievement Awards 2009||Outstanding Innovation in Gaming||Winner|
|Interactive Achievement Awards 2009||Overall Game of the Year||Winner|
|Golden Joystick Awards 2009||Playstation Game of the Year||Third Place|
|Golden Joystick Awards 2009||Soundtrack of the Year||Nominee|
|GAME British Academy Video Game Awards 2009||Technical Achievement||Nominee|
|Game Developers Choice Awards 2009||Technology||Winner|
|Golden Joystick Awards 2009||Ultimate Game of the Year||Nominee|
|GAME British Academy Video Game Awards 2009||Use of Audio||Nominee|
|Game Developers Choice Awards 2009||Visual Arts||Nominee|